In Washington, D.C. after a series of meetings on Wednesday, September 23, 1863, with Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, Cabinet, and military leaders President Abraham Lincoln, responding to Rosecrans’ defeat at Chickamauga, ordered the Eleventh and Twelfth Corps of the Army of the Potomac, commanded by Joseph Hooker, west to reinforce Rosecrans’ embattled army.
Many believed such a massive movement of men, equipment, and supplies would take a month or more; clearly Rosecrans needed reinforcement sooner. Telegrams were dispatched to both the Army and the railroads, rail lines commandeered, and red tape broken.
In just seven days the transfer was completed in one of the most brilliant logistical operations of the American Civil War. A determined president, Stanton, the Union War Department, and the railroads made it possible.